Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Padres win; Giants lose ground to Dodgers

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[September 20, 2014]  SAN DIEGO -- The San Francisco Giants' hopes of overtaking the Los Angeles Dodgers and winning the National League West took a giant hit Friday night at Petco Park.

Cuban import Odrisamer Despaigne blanked the Giants on two hits over seven innings and the San Diego Padres struck for four runs in the first as they defeated San Francisco 5-0.

The Giants got only three hits and five baserunners against Despaigne and three relievers.

San Francisco's loss, combined with the Dodgers' 14-5 win over the Cubs, dropped the Giants 3 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the race for the National League West title. The Giants, who have nine games to play, still lead the National League wild-card race.

"That first inning, he just got the ball up," manager Bruce Bochy said of Giants starter Tim Hudson (9-12). "He had two outs there. If he had gotten out of that, I think he throws a nice game."

And Hudson almost did.

Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista put the Padres on the board with a bases-loaded, two-out, full-count double for the first two Padres runs in the first. Center fielder Cameron Maybin immediately followed with a two-run single.

"The first inning was tough," continued Bochy. "We get two outs and give up four runs. But that wasn't the whole story. We couldn't do anything offensively. We had a tough time getting anything going."

Despaigne, a 27-year-old right-hander, continued his mastery of the Giants and extended his domination at Petco Park. He issued one walk -- to Giants' center fielder Angel Pagan to open the game -- and struck out seven.

Despaigne (4-7), who made his major league debut on June 23 in San Francisco, is 2-0 against the Giants with a 0.45 earned run average over three starts. Despaigne has allowed the Giants one run on eight hits and five walks with nine strikeouts in 20 innings.

At Petco Park, Despaigne is 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA in seven starts.

Against all other teams, Despaigne is 2-7 with a 4.13 ERA. On the road he is 1-6 with a 5.31 ERA.

Despaigne retired nine straight Giants after walking Pagan to open the game. But his bid for a no-hitter ended when Giants second baseman Joe Panik doubled to open the fourth -- although the Giants didn't get their second hit until Panik singled with two out in the sixth.

The pitcher and Padres manager Bud Black had slightly different opinions of how he blanked the Giants.

"My fastball command was good," said Despaigne through an interpreter. "I was very comfortable with my fastball and curve. And the early lead made it more comfortable for me."

Black, however, thought Despaigne didn't have his greatest stuff.

"He was behind in a lot of counts and on the edge," said the manager. "A lot of times, he was one pitch away from a walk. The ball-strike ratio wasn't great (54 strikes in 98 pitches). He was not pounding the strike zone. But he got out of things at the end.

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"When you look back at it from the pitcher's eye, I can say, 'Hey man, great job.' He's very savvy with a lot of guile. He got a lot of outs on slow curves and cut fastballs. He threw enough strikes to keep them thinking."

The Padres put the Giants in a quick hole by scoring four in the first.

Third baseman Yangervis Solarte opened the game with a single off Hudson. With one out, second baseman Jedd Gyorko singled (extending his career-best hitting streak to 10 straight games) and catcher Yasmani Grandal drew a walk to load the bases. Hudson retired left fielder Seth Smith on a fly to short right for the second out -- with Solarte being forced to hold at third.

"The pitch that Smith hit, Seth would probably like to have that one back," said Black.

But Amarista drove a double to right-center, scoring Solarte and Gyorko -- and giving Amarista 10 RBIs in his last seven games. Maybin followed with a two-run single, his fifth hit in his last seven at-bats.

A two-base throwing error by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval on a grounder hit by Gyorko opening the third led to the Padres' fifth run. Gyorko scored his second run on a one-out double by Smith.

Hudson allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. He has lost three straight decisions and has a 10.47 ERA in four September starts.

Tim Lincecum, who threw his second no-hitter against the Padres in less than a year earlier this season, struck out two in two perfect innings of relief.

NOTES: 1B Brandon Belt returned to the Giants' starting lineup Friday for the first time since Aug. 6. He had missed 49 of the last 54 games because of a concussion and post-concussion problems. ... CF Angel Pagan was back in the Giants' lineup after missing three starts with back stiffness. ... SS Trea Turner, the Padres' first-round pick in the June draft (13th overall), took batting practice and fielded grounders with the Padres on Friday afternoon.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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